On Nov. 20, WWE presents the 30th annual Survivor Series. As we move towards the event, let’s take a look at how the former Thanksgiving tradition has evolved over the years.
This time around, the Thanksgiving Night Tradition gets out of Richfield and heads to Rosemont!
Survivor Series 89 – November 23, 1989, Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, Illinois
Now in its third year, the World Wrestling Federation started tinkering with the Survivor Series, going from four 5-on-5 matches to five four-on-four matches, cutting the match times down slightly and, in my own opinion, also killing the match quality.
I’ll be blunt, the 1989 edition of the Survivor Series was terribly dull. The uniqueness of the concept had worn off and the card presented with the roster on hand didn’t do anyone any favors. With the matches all cut down to about 20 minutes, no one was really given a chance to shine like in previous years. Although, with most of these matches, I wouldn’t have wanted them to go any longer. They were already dreadfully dull with the time given.
Best Match: Ultimate Warrior, The Rockers and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart defeated Andre the Giant, Arn Anderson, Haku and Bobby “the Brain” Heenan.
This wins by virtue of being the shortest match on the card and the one with the most energy and storytelling throughout the contest. Throughout the night, we heard rumors of dissension in the ranks of the Heenan Family, which was used to cover up the firing of Tully Blanchard due to a failed drug test, which is why Heenan suited up for the match. I’m sure the match would have been better with Blanchard in there, so we could have had an extended Rockers-Brain Busters sequence, but alas, it did not come to pass.
Worst Match: Dusty Rhodes, Brutus “the Barber” Beefcake, Tito Santana and The Red Rooster defeated Big Bossman, Bad News Brown, Honky Tonk Man and “The Model” Rick Martel.
Honestly, I could have put any of the three mid-card elimination matches here as worst match, as they were all just lifeless affairs that didn’t really do anything for me. But the “Dream Team” vs. “The Enforcers” match wins because the Big Bossman’s team was stupid enough to recruit loner Bad News Brown, who walked out on his team last year. Lo and behold, the same thing happens again here. You’d think the Honky Tonk Man, who was on Brown’s team in 1988, would have said something to his team captain here.
Also of note, this is the second time Brutus Beefcake was a part of a “Dream Team,” first as Tag Team Champions with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine.
Midcard Main Event: For the first time, the WWF put its advertised main event on halfway through the show, with the Hulkamaniacs taking on the Million Dollar Team.With the exception of team captain Ted DiBiase, the whole team managed to get themselves disqualified. First, Zeus – actor Tiny Lister reprising his role from the movie No Holds Barred – shoved the referee. Then, when DiBiase’s team was up 3-to-2, the Powers of Pain get hit with a DQ for double teaming Hogan. Sometimes, you just can’t buy good help…
All For One: Going into this year’s show, there were only two matches where there was a sole survivor: Andre the Giant in the main event of the 1987 show and The Ultimate Warrior in the 1988 opener. This year, there were three sole survivors: Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior and “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig.
Survivor Series Rankings
We finally have a Top 10! Too bad the matches this year weren’t all that great…
*DISCLAIMER* The Survivor Series Rankings are for discussion purposes only and in no way reflect an official or authoritative list. It is simply my opinion. If you disagree, let me know via email or on Facebook. Match survivors are in bold.
1 – Powers of Pain, The British Bulldogs, The Rockers, The Hart Foundation and The Young Stallions defeated Demolition, The Conquistadors, The Brain Busters, The Bolsheviks and the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers. (1988)
2 – “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Hillbilly Jim, Koko B. Ware and Hercules defeated King Haku, Akeem, Big Bossman, “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase and The Red Rooster. (1988)
3 – Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang, “Ravishing” Rick Rude and “The Natural” Butch Reed defeated Hulk Hogan, Bam Bam Bigelow, Ken Patera, “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff and Don Muraco. (1987)
4 – The Jumping Bomb Angels, Fabulous Moolah, Velvet McIntyre and Rockin’ Robin defeated Sensational Sherri, The Glamour Girls, Donna Christanello and Dawn Marie. (1987)
5 – Ultimate Warrior, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, The Blue Blazer, “Jumping” Jim Brunzell and Sam Houston beat The Honky Tonk Man, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, “Outlaw” Ron Bass, Bad News Brown and “Dangerous” Danny Davis (1988)
6 – “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Jake “The Snake Roberts, Brutus” The Barber” Beefcake and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan defeated Hercules, Honky Tonk Man, “Outlaw” Ron Bass, “King” Harley Race and “Dangerous” Danny Davis. (1987)
7 – Ultimate Warrior, The Rockers and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart defeated Andre the Giant, Arn Anderson, Haku and Bobby “the Brain” Heenan. (1989)
8 – Hulk Hogan, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Demolition defeated “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, The Powers of Pain and Zeus. (1989)
9 – “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, Dino Bravo, Andre the Giant, Harley Race and “Ravishing” Rick Rude defeated Jake “The Snake” Roberts, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Ken Patera, Tito Santana and Scott Casey (1988)
10 – The Killer Bees, The Young Stallions, Strike Force, The British Bulldogs and the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers defeated The Islanders, The Hart Foundation, The New Dream Team, Demolition and The Bolsheviks. (1987)
Bonus List! Top Eliminators!
Four Eliminations: Brutus Beefcake, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior
Three Eliminations: One Man Gang/Akeem, “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, Hulk Hogan, “Ravishing” Rick Rude
There are 10 wrestlers with 2 eliminations and 30 wrestlers with 1 elimination each.